Today I wanted to share one of the many stories of my Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis and the adventures with my symptoms. And it is probably one of the most embarrassing ones by far. This is the story where a grown girl peed in her pants.. Yes, PEED in my own pants.. in public!
It was summertime in hot, muggy, fabulous New York City! I traveled from my home in California to stay with my best friend from college in the City. I was 23 years old and it was my first real time traveling to stay in New York. I left everything behind in the search of new experiences and wonderful adventures with my great old friend.
One day my friend had a casting call for an audition for a play in Midtown where she would have to be gone all day. I decided that I would take this time to have a relaxing day to myself. She lived all the way up in Washington Heights so going to the movies in Midtown was going to be a full trek.
Keep in mind, this was 3 weeks before I have seen a doctor and was officially diagnosed so the symptoms where creeping up on me at this time in full force.
As I was walking down, what feels like a hundred blocks, I frequently had to stop for bathroom breaks along the way. I also took the time to guzzle down two liters of water and continued on my way. I sat on the subway already exhausted from my walking, but my determination to see a movie was overpowering my will to stop.
I finally got to the craziness of Midtown. There were tons of people walking in all directions, old construction workers whistling at me, flashing lights, and a bombardment of concrete jungle noises. I was just a simple girl from surf town California, starring down at my iPhone maps, trying to avoid getting lost. I FINALLY got to the movie theater. As soon as I opened the door, there were masses amounts of people in line for the movies. I stood in line and waited. As I was waiting I started to feel that urge.. that urge to go to the bathroom again. I squeezed my legs together, holding my breath thinking that this line would move a little faster so that I can just buy my ticket and use the restroom. I stood up straight, my eyes watered, and I just couldn’t handle it any longer. I left my place in line in the search of a bathroom.
Now this New York City movie theater is not like all other movie theaters that I am used to going to. Usually the movies are laid out on one floor with the bathrooms in clear sight with signs. But this theater had multiple levels where you bought the ticket on the first floor and then you went up to the various other floors to see your movie.
I briskly walked and then practically jogged all along the perimeter of this crowded movie lobby. I COULD NOT FIND A BATHROOM ANYWHERE! It didn’t have any restrooms on that first floor. You needed to have a ticket to go up to the next levels where the bathrooms were. I was so desperate, feeling so hopeless, alone, and frantic. After I made a whole lap around the room looking, I started to feel something wet trailing down my leg. I look down and I am peeing in the middle of this lobby. I can’t stop! I try so hard to control it, but I can’t! I can’t do one thing about it! My eyes start to water with tears and I am just a wet leaking mess. I feel defeated. I remember thinking “I am a 23 year old grown girl, how the heck can this happen?! Why can’t I control my own body? Why is this happening?” Confused and crushed, I sneak to a corner of the lobby to pull myself together, tied a sweatshirt around my waist, and attempted to clean the mess up with my shoe. I got in line again, looking at no one. I finally got my ticket and head up the the fourth floor to my movie. As soon as I got to my floor I rushed to the bathroom to assess the damage that had just happened. I get into a stall, cried more, cleaned up my legs, and stuffed tissue down my pants to help soak up the wetness.
Feeling at my lowest low, I decided to make the best of it and buy myself a large water and popcorn (my favorite). I sat myself alone in a comfy chair in the dark theater. The previews start and I can already feel myself feeling a little better. I sink into my chair, disappear into the darkness, and chowed down on my delicious popcorn. (Of course I went to the bathroom 4 more times throughout the 2 hour film, but at least I made it to the bathroom).
This is one of the many stories that I will forever remember about my diagnosis. For those that do not know, these are some of the major symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes. At the time I had no idea what was going on with my body. I knew something was not right, but I did not think that I was anything extreme. I was wrong. And this day was one of the days where I was actually very worried about myself. I was exhausted, extremely thirsty all the time, had constant dry mouth, and lost 30 pounds in a week and a half. It is very important to know of these symptoms to avoid something tragic and deadly. I wanted to share my story in the hopes of opening people’s eyes to these symptoms and to the awareness of this disease. Here is a list of the common symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes onset.
The common symptoms include (adapted from JDRF):
- Extreme thirst
- Frequent urination
- Sudden vision changes
- Sugar in urine
- Fruity, sweet, or wine-like odor on breath
- Increased appetite
- Sudden weight loss
- Drowsiness, lethargy
- Yeast infections
- Heavy, labored breathing
- Stupor, unconsciousness